The Generation Gap: 5 Reasons Why Parents Today Don’t Understand Their Children

Image by: Chaitanya Dinesh Surpur

Whether you’re 14 or 45, we all struggle when we deal with our parents. My mom is my favorite being in the whole world, but I can only be in the room with her for, like, ten minutes. Why does it feel like the people who brought us into this world seem to speak a whole different language than us? It’s super frustrating when we feel like our parents don’t understand us. And that frustration comes because we feel helpless and we can’t control it. So, what are the reasons behind this generation gap in both ideology and treatment? Let me break down some of them for you.


They think they know better

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As egocentric creatures, we see the world through the perspective we know best; our own. We have far more information about ourselves than we do about other people, and this influences our assumptions and judgments about the people we interact with every day, parents dealing with their children in this way are most definitely included. Parents sometimes can be impatient in explaining a certain topic children don’t know all about or going the other way around and fully comprehend a matter their children are telling them about. They don’t know that if they deal with them patiently giving due regard and respect to their feelings and sentiments and not making fun of their shortcomings, and if they are FRIENDS AND NOT SUPERIORS, they will earn their respect.


Not fully understanding modern technology

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They just don’t seem to get it. The internet is like a complete mystery to them. And when they actually try to adapt to it, they rarely succeed at being slick at it. They don’t stop there because they criticize you for doing this and that and make a fuss out of the tiniest, normal things. I kid you not, one day my mom asked me “is your cousin dating a guy?” because she saw her sharing a photo of a random handsome guy on Facebook. really mom, really? It is just beyond me.


Parents never admit when they’re wrong

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Whenever you try to explain anything to them they will just deny it and use their authority to hide it. You try to explain yourself, but they don’t care what you have to say because they don’t want to realize that they are wrong.


They force you to follow the same path as theirs


Misperceptions are a natural part of parenting. Mothers and fathers see their children as they want to see them, often as they’ve seen them since birth. They also persist in envisioning long-imagined futures for their kids. If your mom or dad ever expressed the assumption that you’d follow in their career footsteps, you know the drill. Or maybe your parents’ “my baby” tag still clings to you like glue to paper although you long ago hacked your way through the adult underbrush.


They don’t take your perspectives seriously

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This brings us back to the title of this article, why the term “generation gap” is so prominent in our time? Simply put, parents need to understand that nowadays the shift is too big. That today, every new generation lives in an entirely new environment. Technology is different, the job market is different, sociopolitical map of the world is different, worldview is different, and mindset is different. If you’re fortunate enough and your parents can openly communicate while being open-minded, respectful, and kind to each other, you will begin to bridge the gap.


I would encourage you to be patient with them. Time will take care of this issue to a great degree. Even if they don’t embrace your beliefs and tendencies, they will likely make peace with it. Try to forgive their inability to see things from your point of view. Keep in mind that you’re not currently very good at understanding their perspective either, or you wouldn’t be asking this question. And for what it’s worth, aspire to be a much better parent than them. If you’re fortunate, one day not too many years in the future, you’ll offer and accept some apologies for this rough period in your life.